Archive for October, 2008
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
The Scottish Rite is one of two largest concordant bodies of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Craft lodge masonry. The Scottish Rite work expands and elaborates on the lessons of the three Craft lodge degrees. As with Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite is not a religion, and it is nondenominational, although it does require a belief in a Supreme Being. The Scottish Rite, sometimes called the “College of Freemasonry”, uses extensive dramatic plays and allegory to emphasize the messages of its degrees. A freemason, after viewing these dramas, will eventually attain the 32nd degree in Scottish Rite masonry. To a non-mason this may sound like the member is a high ranking mason, however, this would be a misconception. The highest degree in Freemasonry is the 3rd or Master Mason degree. Degrees as they relate to the Scottish Rite indicate the level of knowledge that a Master Mason has attained. It would be rather awkward to allude to a member as an Act 32 freemason. In the Scottish Rite, the 33rd degree, an honourary degree, is bestowed on members of the Scottish Rite who have given outstanding service to Freemasonry or to their communities. In the Scottish Rite a Master Mason may become a member of three bodies — Lodge of Perfection, Rose Croix, and Consistory.Examples of Masonic Rings and Scottish Rite Rings can be found at www.foxjewelry.net
First of all; the person wanting to become a Mason must be a man (it’s a fraternity), sound in body and mind, who believes in God, is at least the minimum age required by Masonry in his state, and has a good reputation.Those are the only “formal” requirements. But there are others, not so formal. He should believe in helping others. He should believe there is more to life than pleasure and money. He should be willing to respect the opinions of others. And he should want to grow and develop as a human being.One way to identify a Master Mason is by the Masonic Ring normally worn on the right hand. The Masonic Ring is most oftern recognized because of the Compass and Square on the top of the ring.
Often times we think of religion when we think of ritual, but ritual is used in every day life. It’s so much a part of us that we just don’t notice it. Ritual simply means doing things routinely the same way each time.
Many times school assemblies start with the principal or some other official calling for the attention of the group. Then the group is led in the Pledge of Allegiance.That’s a ritual.
Most groups use Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct a meeting. That’s probably the best-known book of ritual in the world.
There are social rituals which tell us how to meet people (we shake hands), how to join a conversation (we wait for a pause, and then speak. These are just examples of rituals that we use in every day life.
Masonry uses a ritual because it’s an effective way to teach important ideas. Masonry’s ritual is very rich because it is so old. It has developed over centuries to contain some beautiful language and ideas expressed in symbols. But there’s nothing unusual in using ritual. All of us do it every day.
There is a ritual performed when becoming a Master Mason. Sometimes part of that ritual may be presenting the new Master Mason with a Master Masonic Ring.